SR Migrants francois crepeauBRUSELS (2-5 February) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Mr. François Crépeau, visited Brussels as part of the third component of his follow-up study on the management of the EU external borders. In his end of mission report on the situation of migrants in the EU and the Mediterranean Mr. Crépeau strongly asserted that we must recognize human mobility as an inescapable and necessary fact and called on states to open more official channels to migrant entry and stay.


Citing a growing number of Mediterranean deaths, Mr. Crépeau demonstrated that sealing borders has proven to have counterproductive and dangerous consequences for migrants and states alike. Closed and criminalised borders only drive migrants underground and encourage opportunistic smuggling rings to take advantage of the vulnerable situation of migrants.


Instead, the Special Rapporteur called upon EU states to create incentives for migrants to safely and officially register themselves as a primary strategy for regaining control of borders.


“If Europe is to witness a significant reduction of human suffering at borders, it must bank, not on strict closure and repression, but on regulated openness and mobility.”


He also called upon EU states to establish firewalls between immigration enforcement and all other public authorities in order to facilitate migrant access to fundamental economic, social and cultural rights, and to achieve greater EU coherence on immigration issues.


In his conclusion Mr. Crépeau stressed the importance of respecting and protecting existing international human rights obligations.


“[ EU Member States must] progressively establish a human-rights-based, coherent and comprehensive migration policy which addresses these issues and makes mobility its central asset. A common narrative celebrating mobility and diversity, recognizing real labour market needs as well as the needs of migrants, based on human rights guaranties and access to justice, must be developed.”


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